I Wish I’d Said That – 2021

As I get older, I realize a ton of people are a lot smarter than I am.  When I look at the world (even wearing my rose-coloured glasses) mostly all I see is benign chaos.  However, some people can look through all that and see where the little bits of truth are hiding.  These are the folks who instantly grasp an idea, distill it down to a single sentence, flip it onto their tongues and then effortlessly blend it into the conversation.  I know envy is one of the 7 Deadly Sins, but, for all the world, I envy these people because on the rare occasions when I do that, I spend the rest of the day walking just a little taller.  Here are some examples and each one, when read carefully, demonstrates some serious understanding of the world we live in.

Journalism largely consists of saying “Lord Jones is dead,” to people who didn’t know he was alive.
G.K. Chesterton

The perfect lover is one who turns into a pizza at 4:00 am.
Charles Pierce

Television has proved that people will look at anything rather than each other.
Ann Landers

It’s dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.

A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks for a funeral.
H.L. Mencken

The trouble with her is she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech.
George Bernard Shaw

A critic is a man who knows the way but can’t drive the car.
Kenneth Tynan

The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing — and then marry him.

An alcoholic is someone you don’t like who drinks as much as you do.
Dylan Thomas

It was as stupid as taking a cauldron and a broom to a witch hunt.
Najira Olsen

Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn’t have to do it himself.
A.H. Miller

Do you realize that, if it weren’t for Edison, we’d be watching television by candlelight?
Al Boliska

It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.
Jean Rostand

Love thy neighbour as thyself, but choose your neighbourhood.
Louise Beal

The average person thinks he isn’t.
L. Lorenzoni

What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to.
Hansell Duckett

We’re all in this alone.
Lily Tomlin

Where did I find the time to not read so many books?
Karl Krause

A fair fight is the one you win.
French Foreign Legion

And that greatest philosopher of them all — Anonymous

Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.

If it wasn’t for the last minute, nobody would get anything done.

Whoever said “money can’t buy happiness,” didn’t know where to shop.

No one ever bets enough money on a winning horse.

If you talk to God, you’re praying.  If God talks to you, you’re nuts.

Originally written September, 2017

The Meaning Of Life

You can read all the philosophers you want, but nobody summed up the meaning of life quite as concisely as Berk Breathed once did in Bloom County.  In fact, it was so well done that I cut it out of the newspaper (remember those?) saved it for easy reference, and tried very hard to live by its not-so-subtle advice.

Now, a million years later, my youth a dim memory and my future about to kick in the door, I still marvel at its relevance.

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I’m An Optimist (2018)


I’m an optimist.  I don’t believe life is “short, brutish and cruel” or whatever the hell Thomas Hobbes was going on about.  First of all, life is not short: it’s the longest thing you’re ever going to do (aside from eternity, and that doesn’t count.)  Secondly, nothing that offers over 20 different kinds of breakfast cereal (from super-nutritious to practically poison) can be called “brutish and cruel.”  Perhaps, at one time, Hobbes was money in the bank, but these days the poor guy isn’t even spare change.

The truth is, the only reason a lot of people think pessimism is such a profound philosophy is most of the great thinkers we hold so dear to our hearts (like Hobbes) wrote it that way.  Unfortunately, they were doing their writing (and their thinking) in a time when scullery maid was a legitimate occupation, a bad cold could kill ya and public executions were entertainment – for the whole family.  Not all that relevant in the 21st century!  And, quite frankly, neither is their dim view of the world.

We live in a world that is full of promise.  Okay, sometimes we get our priorities screwed up and try to feed the homeless, clothe the starving and tolerate the intolerant — but at least we’re workin’ on it.  And the fact is, we do feed a lot of people, we do clothe them, we educate them, offer them medicine, employment and safety.  We allow a cornucopia of gods, politics, ideas and opinions all equal billing in the intellectual feast that is Western society.  We show mercy, generosity and benevolence — even to those who wish to do us harm.  We do not live in a dark world because — quite frankly, folks — when our biggest problem is the Internet is slow, we’ve got nothing to be pessimistic about.